Fully implement GPA before polls: Sadc Troika
HARARE – A group of Southern African leaders on Friday called on Zimbabwean leaders to fully implement the power-sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) before the country goes to a watershed election that is threatened by a chaotic mobile voter registration exercise.
The resolution could effectively rule out President Robert Mugabe’s envisaged June poll timetable.
The summit of Sadc’s Troika on Politics, Defence and Security was convened after Prime Minister Morgan TsvangiraiFROM P1
unfurled a diplomatic offensive to nudge regional leaders to press Mugabe’s Zanu PF to ensure that the GPA, which is the foundation of the unity government, is implemented in full before elections.
The Sadc troika comprising South African President Jacob Zuma, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Namibian Foreign minister Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah and Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao, met at the weekend in Cape Town to consider the security situation in the region, in particular developments in hotspots of Zimbabwe, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Chaired by Kikwete, the Troika reaffirmed support for the Zuma-led mediation on the Zimbabwean crisis.
“(The) summit urged the parties (in Zimbabwe) to finalise the outstanding issues in the implementation of the GPA and preparations for holding free and fair elections in Zimbabwe,” read a communiqué issued after the mini regional summit.
Tsvangirai described the Sadc communiqué as a diplomatic coup.
“Sadc has set conditions for polls that they will not be an election without the full implementation of the GPA,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News. “When the PM went on a regional tour, the mission was to urge the region and Africa to ensure that forthcoming elections are credible and legitimate.
“The holding of a Troika meeting is a culmination of the regional tour by the prime minister and we are happy that Sadc is seized with issues regarding preparations for elections.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “We have implemented the GPA what else do they want? We have passed the constitution. Parliament has passed it and Senate will do the same tomorrow so what else should we implement?
“Let us not spend a lot of time discussing issues that are not important. Our security sector is the best in Africa. Have you ever talked about reforming the security sector in South Africa or Tanzania?”
Sadc are the curators of the inclusive government having facilitated its formation after an inconclusive poll in 2008.
The regional body has been helping GPA parties negotiate an electoral roadmap that includes a new constitution and security sector reforms.
However, other agreed and envisaged reforms are still outstanding even as a crucial election looms large.
Although both Tsvangirai and Mugabe agree that their unity arrangement is no longer workable they remain miles apart over the actual timing of new elections.
Mugabe is pressing for the elections to be held soon after the end of the current Parliament on June 29, but the MDC leader says legal and political frameworks are not yet in place for a credible vote that Sadc is craving to deliver.
The MDC accuses Zanu PF of stalling the implementation of media, security sector reforms and a raft of other reforms agreed as part of the GPA deal.